I’m not sure how I missed it, but on Wednesday Opera revealed a new “speed dial” feature that is currently available in their latest weekly release (thanks to XPGeek in our forum for pointing this out!). It’s actually been two-weeks since Opera announced that they were going to offer a unique feature in the next release, but they didn’t want to say what it was. After reading about the Speed Dial feature I felt like I had to give it a try because it sounded really nice.

Opera Speed Dial

The whole point of Opera Speed Dial is to make visiting your favorite 9 websites as easy as possible. Instead of opening a blank tab Opera will always show your Speed Dial sites along with corresponding thumbnails (pictured above). That way you can always see what is going on with your favorite sites.

Once you startup the latest weekly build of the browser you need to create a new tab to adjust your Speed Dial sites. Then you can click on any of the blank numbers and select a website from the list of your most frequently visited, or if it’s not listed you can manually enter in a URL. If that still isn’t easy enough for you then maybe you’ll want to drag an open tab onto a Speed Dial slot, which also happens to work.

After you get all of the slots filled that you want to, there are some things you should know that can help you out. First, you can remove any of the thumbnails by right-clicking on them and selecting “Delete” or by pressing the “X” in the upper-right corner. The next thing that you’ll probably find useful is refreshing the thumbnails, and you can refresh all of them by pressing Ctrl+R when viewing the Speed Dial page (you’ll see all of the pages as they load which is super cool). A specific Speed Dial site can be reloaded by right-clicking on the thumbnail and selecting the “Refresh” option.

Opera Speed Dial isn’t just about the thumbnails though, just like a phone you can instantly access your phone numbers thanks to the speed dial feature. To do this in Opera you can press Ctrl+1 to Ctrl+9 to open the corresponding site. I really like having keyboard shortcuts for my favorite sites.

One last thing that I wanted to mention about the new feature is that the search box located above your Speed Dial sites is used the same way as the search box located in the browser. It does not search the content of the sites that are in your Speed Dial list, but is there merely because the most common thing people do when creating a new tab is perform a search. Since Opera has teamed up with Yahoo! on this feature the search box is set to their search service by default, but it can always be changed in the search settings:

Opera Search

While I’m really impressed with this feature, I think the Opera team can take it one step further. They should let users right-click on a folder of bookmarks and have all of those bookmarks shown as thumbnails in a tab similar to Speed Dial. I would also like to see a feature implemented where Opera actually monitors the content of specified Speed Dial sites to notify you when a site has been updated, and then highlighting that thumbnail in the Speed Dial site. Those are the two ideas that initially popped into my head that would make it even more useful for me, but I’m sure most people will like the feature just the way it is.

Don’t be surprised if a Firefox extension emerges that does the same kind of thing. ;)

Download the latest weekly release of Opera

There Are 15 Comments

  1. I cannot for the like of me understand what speed dial is for. The thumbnails are too small to recognize what the contents is. So what good is it?? What is the advantage of putting a site into speed dial versus adding the site to bookmarks??

    • for -bookmarks, u gotta open the bookmarks page and then u dont get to see the previews of ur sites. and then in the Speed Dial – u can watch the preview od ur favourite sites which u have put on speed dial and access them quickly..
      Speed dial is just ctrl+t away , whereas bookmarks is(i dnt know the shortcut) away and then u gotta search in ur bookmarks from a list of so many bookmarks…. thats not cool !!
      So the speed Dial is the coolest feature of Opera !!

  2. The Speed Dial is opened every time you create a new tab, so it is a fast way to see your most visited sites. And the thumbnails might be small, but they still serve some useful purposes:
    [cybernetnews.com]

  3. Anonymous wrote:
    I cannot for the like of me understand what speed dial is for. The thumbnails are too small to recognize what the contents is. So what good is it?? What is the advantage of putting a site into speed dial versus adding the site to bookmarks??

    You know, before I started using Opera, I thought the same thing. Then once I started using it and set-up the speed-dial with all of the sites I visit most – I loved it. I’m so used to it now, I can’t imagine not having it.

  4. maybe you understand what its for if you skip the thumbnails and use the short cut keys [ctrl+1] :)

  5. lars wrote:
    maybe you understand what its for if you skip the thumbnails and use the short cut keys [ctrl+1]:)

    I don’t actually use those shortcuts all that often. It’s the thumbnails that really make it a great feature for me. But everyone has their own take on it.

  6. This is awesome feture by Opera, deffinetly this feture makes opera a step ahead in browser war.

  7. I Like the speedial, but is there any way of making the speedidal open as a default homepage and when a link is clicked it opens in a new tab?

    Thanks

  8. Jay wrote:
    I Like the speedial, but is there any way of making the speedidal open as a default homepage and when a link is clicked it opens in a new tab?

    Thanks

    Checkout the last tip in this article:
    [cybernetnews.com]

  9. I used speed dial but lost all my links when formatting my pc.

  10. Well, today I added Opera to my computer. Firefox is in the doghouse as far as I’m concerned! It’s causing CPU spikes in regular intervals which is really playing havoc with my videos, typing and scrolling. Lately nothing loads in FF unless I move my mouse around! What’s this???

    A great improvement on I’d like to see with the speed dial feature is this:

    Think of Youtube and what happens at the end of any video. You see a set of video thumbnails that scroll horizontally across the screen. Why couldn’t Opera do something like this, only bigger so it would be easier to see the web pages and captions? Let it be in a line as long as the 25 spaces and only show those spaces that are occupied + one at empty one at the end. The thumbnails could be as large or larger than the ones in existing 2×2 grid.

    Just an idea. It would give the best of both worlds – up to 25 pages displayed plus the large size.

  11. How can I re-label each speed dial icon? It is most difficult to tell one from another using the label that Opera gives it!!

Leave Your Comment


Message is the only required field.
Emails are not published.